Volvo line of excavators helps demolish structures for Chennai Metro Rail project with minimum fuss and stress.
It is never easy to introduce modernity in places rich in history. In a city like Chennai, which has a history of 350 years and great architectural heritage, it is so full of 'old world' charm, the problem gets further compounded. So, when the Metro Rail Project in the city the largest public project in Tamil Nadu got underway, the authorities of the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) knew they had quite a challenge ahead. And they knew it had to do with demolitions they had to get that right first before anything else.
"You see, Chennai is home to hundreds of heritage structures, quite a few of them in the congested heart of the city along the alignment of the metro," says Mohan Ramanathan, Managing Director, Advanced Construction Technologies Ltd (ACT). "And you don't mess around with Chennai's architectural heritage not the slightest bit," he adds.
ACT and VolvoCE are in the forefront of demolitions for the Chennai Metro project. Together, they have been clearing up the ground for the laying of tracks in Phase 1 of the project. So far, they have got their act absolutely right in the station locations at Mannady, Central Station, Thirumangalam and Washermanpet. "We are talking about text-book demolitions, really," says Ramanathan. "It's been swift, silent, and smooth, with no untoward incidents and without disturbing day-to-day activity."
Tearing them down with ease
Starting with the razing of the police quarters at Mannady station in the very busy Broadway Street through to the pulling down of the multi-storeyed Hotel Picnic sandwiched between two famous heritage structures near Central Station, the demolitions have proceeded with minimum fuss and stress. "The tearing down of Hotel Picnic was a particularly tricky one," says Ramanathan. "We had to ensure zero-damage to the landmark structures on either side Ripon Building & Victoria Public Hall. The clearance area available was just 5 m on both sides. But our Volvos pulled it off with ease!"
For the demolition of the 30 m-high Hotel Picnic building and other structures, four Volvo machines were deployed one each EC210, EC240, EC360 & EC460BLC excavators. The EC460BLC excavator was fitted with a 26 m triple demolition boom and hydraulic crusher to tear down the reinforced concrete structure. No damage was caused to the heritage structures, notwithstanding the fact they were over 100 years old and made of masonry in lime mortar. "The Volvo line of excavators delivers maximum reach and stability with no vibration and very little noise. Now, that's a killer combination for demolitions," says Ramanathan.
According to him, Volvos are real workhorses with robust under-carriage system and demolition-grade hydraulics that ensure power and control are never compromised. The operators really enjoy working in the cool, comfortable Volvo cabins. This is the first time in Chennai that such a high-reach demolition machine has been used. And it has won instant approval from CMRL project managers. They find Volvo demolition equipment absolutely safe and recommend them for all future high-rise demolitions in the project. "Well, Chennai has always been a 'city of firsts'," says Ramanathan. "We are sure glad to be in the list."